Apr 27, 2009 4:26pm
Re: ' the Dead'
Let me tell you an anecdote. My older son, who is 22, was listening to one of his favorite bands, who shall remain nameless, and I couldn't stand it anymore. I said, 'Grahame, this stuff is awful crap.' And he said, 'It must sound that way to the untrained ear, Dad.' "
Yet the list of credible musicians who line up year after year to perform in various Dead spinoff projects - Phil Lesh and Friends, Bob Weir's Ratdog, Mickey Hart's Global Drum Project - is evidence that there's more to these guys than epic jams.
Jazz guitarist John Scofield plays frequently with Lesh. "The jazz community doesn't take them too seriously, and I've got to admit that for a long time I didn't know much about the Dead's music," says Scofield. "I'll tell you that on all counts, as songwriters and as improvisers, they're not taken as seriously as they should be."
Lesh can't say the same for the jam bands whose ranks have swelled in the Grateful Dead's wake. He says he's happy to have opened the door for budding musicians, but that the scene is overrun with impostors, and that the Grateful Dead's true heirs can be found in unlikely places.
"A lot of the so-called jam bands are a lot more arranged than you would think, but there are other artists carrying on this tradition that you wouldn't think of as a jam band. Somebody like Ryan Adams is taking the most profound and meaningful elements of what the Grateful Dead did and applying them his own way," Lesh says. "He's noodling all the time."http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2009/04/17/dead_fans_revel_in_community/
[posted at dead.net]
And as I've posted before - also from Phil:
Phil Lesh speaks about Ryan Adams
I love playing with Ryan because he’s fearless; because he doesn’t have to do anything the same way twice; because every idea he throws out in a jam is a little gem that cries out “polish me”; because he has about nine hundred voices that he can use like a Bene Gesserit; because of his huge heart and enormous talent. I like it that we deconstruct the songs so that verses are transposed, or the bridge comes in early, or the jam leads back to a verse instead of a chorus. I like it that we have to be on our tippy-tippy toes to make the acute left turns and abrupt changes that Ryan likes to spring on us. I like to spring those kind of changes too- what do you think I’m doing when I talk into my mike and you can’t hear me? I love playing with Ryan because he takes me back to when the Grateful Dead were young, fearless, crazy and didn’t give a shit about what other people thought we should do. If what you desire is the perfect rendition, there are many excellent bands that perform Grateful Dead songs- but I have never been about perfection and never will be. I do promise that I will always do my best to follow my weird. I hope you will join me, but I do understand if your path takes you elsewhere. I will also say with no hesitation that Jerry would have loved Ryan and his fearless interpretations of his songs. It’s funny, but I feel Jerry close to me whenever I am around Ryan. — Phil Lesh (January 2006)[in response to those kind Phil fans that were bashing Ryan on the message boards]
This post was modified by bluedevil on 2009-04-27 23:26:12